March Madness: Notre Dame's guide to surviving the ACC Tournament
Notre Dame enters the ACC Tournament with the No. 2 overall seed after a strong regular season.
The Fighting Irish won 13 of its first 15 ACC games this season before stumbling slightly in late February. That was a remarkable turnaround after starting the season 4-5 in nonconference play.
Notre Dame’s place in the NCAA Tournament is somewhat secure, although a strong showing in Brooklyn would really help to solidify its place. The Fighting Irish are a No. 11-seed according to Joe Lunardi’s latest bracket projection.
Here’s three things to keep in mind as Notre Dame navigates the ACC Tournament:
Any win is a good win
Notre Dame’s NCAA Tournament résumé could use another boost this week. The Fighting Irish enter the ACC Tournament with just two Quad 1 wins and two Quad 2 victories. If one of those Quad 1 wins hadn’t come vs. a National Championship contender in Kentucky, Notre Dame might be on the wrong side of the bubble entering this week.
Even with that win over Kentucky, Notre Dame could use some peace-of-mind going into Selection Sunday. A win over Virginia Tech would mean its third Quad 1 victory of the season — and would likely be enough to put any NCAA Tournament fears to rest.
Correct previous mistakes vs. Virginia Tech
Notre Dame allowed the Hokies to shoot a staggering 65.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range in their first meeting. Notre Dame was good enough offensively to hang around, but ultimately fell 79-73 in Blacksburg. Four different Hokies scored in double figures.
That game was uncharacteristic for a Notre Dame team that was strong defensively for most of this season. But it’s still something that will need to be corrected for when the two teams meet again in Brooklyn on Thursday night.
Re-learn how to win away from home
Notre Dame hasn’t won a game outside of South Bend in almost a month. The Irish (in somewhat stunning fashion) dropped their final two road games of the year to Wake Forest and Florida State.
Prior to those struggled, Notre Dame had won five straight road games. The ability to win away from home is there, but Notre Dame will have to prove it this week in Brooklyn — and later in the postseason.